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Growing Positive: 5 Ways Yoga Can Help Your Child
Does your child have difficulty managing their emotions, making friends or concentrating at school? Does the slightest thing set them off? Do they have frequent emotional or even destructive outbursts?
Practicing yoga can be a great way to help manage and improve your child’s behavior. Kids who practice yoga have been shown to exhibit significantly fewer behavioral problems overall and also tend to behave and perform better in school.
Yoga is even starting to be incorporated into daily programs in schools all around the country to help children with autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities. Through practicing poses, breathing techniques, and guided visualizations, these children are cultivating positive behaviors, and you can help do the same with your child.
5 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Child’s Behavior Problems
1. Yoga Releases Energy
Children with a lot of pent-up energy often release it in the ways they know best—by throwing tantrums, acting out, and even screaming or hitting.
Yoga is the perfect activity to help blow off some steam and release your child’s energy while improving their strength, flexibility and fine motor skills.
If your child has extra energy when you need them to sit quietly or go to bed, try some more challenging poses followed by meditation to help them wind down.
2. Yoga Alleviates Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are known to fire negative behavior. Yoga gives kids an outlet to reduce their stress and anxiety in a non-destructive way.
The yoga mat is a safe space where they can breathe and relax and watch all their struggles “melt away.” Through deep breathing, they will be able to slow down their mind and body and be able to manage their stress effectively.
Instead of anxiety leading to behavioral outbursts, you can help them laugh, smile, and handle their emotions through yoga.
3. Yoga Improves Focus
Yoga is a place for your child to take a break from all the thoughts, worries, and exciting things racing through their little mind, which will help improve focus in other areas of their life, like school.
Kids who practice yoga regularly have been shown to have an improved attention span, less fidgeting, and fewer random movements and noises. They are able to concentrate better and are calm, focused, and ready to learn.
4. Yoga Develops Social Skills
Many behavioral disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, interfere with the ability to communicate and understand social cues. Some children are even unable to speak.
If your child seems antisocial, yoga may help to reduce their social withdrawal.
Many kids’ yoga classes start out with a sharing circle and also use games and activities to keep the kids engaged throughout the class. These classes encourage cooperation and compassion and teach children how to resolve personal conflicts.
Yoga is an excellent way for your child to meet new friends and maintain healthy relationships. It gives them the courage to initiate and continue a conversation and gives them the tools to get along better with their peers. Plus, with yoga, they’ll always have an activity that they can do with their new buddies.
5. Yoga Helps Children Control Impulses
Many behavioral problems, like hitting and screaming, stem from a lack of self-control. Your child may not comprehend how they are feeling and may impulsively display their emotions through destructive behavior.
Yoga can teach your child how to be physically and mentally aware. It can help them explore how they are feeling in the moment and help them connect with how certain situations make them feel.
They start to gain insight into their own behavior and become able to identify and understand their emotions and how to express them constructively. Their destructive defense mechanisms will begin to be replaced with healthy ones, as they learn how to calm themselves down through deep breathing and meditation.
Try Yoga for Happy and Healthy Children
If your child’s behavior is becoming unmanageable at home or starting to affect their performance at school, then you may want to give yoga a try.
Yoga helps resolve matters that fuel a lot of their negative behavior, like excess energy and anxiety. It also helps develop focus, gives them the self-confidence to engage in social interactions, and teaches healthy coping mechanisms.
Through movement, meditation, and creativity, you can help to improve your child’s behavior.
It will take time and patience to see results, but with the right tools, you will soon start to see your child developing a healthy and happy attitude.
Read more about how Yoga can benefit your child with YogaUOnline and Donna Freeman - "Yoga Breaks" Teach Healthy Living Skills.
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two and a blogger for Mom Loves Best, where she documents her journey through parenthood and writes about her passions for yoga, prenatal fitness, and everything related to keeping her family healthy and spiritually grounded.